Born in Indore Madhya Pradesh on 19th August 1957 to a well known family of Ujjain, Sudhir Bhai Goyal was influenced by the teachings of Swami Vivekananda and Mahatma Gandhi very early in life. He has been involved in social service since 1970 (at the age of 13) when he started a school at village Ajnoti. Little did anybody know that this was just the beginning of what would turn out to be a life dedicated towards the needy and the downtrodden.
The values inculcated in him by his parents and the inspiration from freedom fighters, many from his family itself, had a profound influence on him. The sufferings of a mentally ill uncle, a mentally unsound grandmother, pathetic condition of one of his friend’s disabled brother and sight of a freedom fighter begging on streets urged him to do something for these needy people.
He wanted to become a doctor. Meeting with Acharya Vinoba Bhave in 1976 changed all that. In which Acharya Vinoba Bhave told him that the soul of India was in its villages and in fact true service to humanity lay in serving in the villages.
Since last 47 years in spite of all protests and difficulties, he has been working tirelessly for the betterment of the abandoned, helpless, disabled, dying & destitute people from all over the country and across all age groups. His marriage to Kanta Devi, daughter of an industrialist in MP and Maharashtra, sad untimely demise of his only son, the murder of his only sister by her husband and the death of his father did not shake his resolve and alter his path of humanitarian services.
With goal of setting up a forum for Senior Citizens in his mind he established the Ujjaini Senior Citizen’s Forum in 1986, the first of its kind in the state of Madhya Pradesh.
He observed leprosy patients were living in extremely pathetic conditions & unhygienic surroundings. Narayan, a paralyzed leprosy patient with bed sores (who Sudhir Bhai served in his garage till he died) was picked up from here. His urge to uplift and welfare of people affected by Leprosy led him to form the Leprosy Welfare Centre at Hamukhedi Ujjain.
His love and affection towards children can be gauged by the fact that he lost his left eye while saving children in Panchmarhi (MP) in 1979.
He established Sewadham Ashram in 1989 to provide a lifetime shelter to dying and destitute people with immense love, care and compassion. He left no stone unturned in his efforts to provide food, shelter, education and rehabilitation to those in need following a five-point doctrine of Sewa, Shiksha, Swasthya, Swavlambanand, Sadbhav with & Environment Protection.
Sewadham Ashram has left strong footprints of its services in almost last three decades and with humble beginning of serving one resident in 1989 has grown considerably and is serving 500+ residents today with an aim to serve 1000 suffering homeless, helpless, dying and destitute by the year end.
Sewadham Ashram’s journey started amidst acute water scarcity, lack of electricity and the lurking danger of wild animals. 95-year-old Gulab Maa was its first resident. Today with his dedicated efforts the Ashram is an island of greenery at village Ambodia, Ujjain Madhya Pradesh.
Men, women and children who had been abandoned in a helpless condition in bus, railway stations, roads and hospitals have all found loving care and attention in Sewadham. Exploited, abandoned and even pregnant married, unmarried, mentally ill, challenged women also found shelter and protection at the ashram. Many among them had wounds infected with maggots and living in such dirty conditions that nobody could go near them leave alone talk to them. The main object of the Ashram is to provide food, shelter, medical care, education to special kids and a life of dignity to such unfortunate souls.
Sudhir Bhai also established the first deaf school for children in the division in 1993; “Sevanjali Deaf School”. Not just people, even bird and animals find shelter here. The ashram has a Gaushala with around a 110+ cows.
Since its inception, more than 5000 people irrespective of caste, creed and religion, suffering from chronic or terminal diseases like cancer, HIV, AIDS, TB, mental illnesses, physical handicaps and dying and destitute people have benefitted from Sewadham. About 500 got eyesight through eye donations (He has organized about 200 eye and health camps) and many medical institutions benefitted from more than 150 body donations. Last rites of the dead were conducted as per their religion. Residents Inmates from all over India stay here as a huge joint family.
The residents are referred to the Ashram through multiple channels- the Commissioner, Collector, local administration, police, women and child welfare, child welfare committee, women empowerment, child line, government / non-government bodies, NGOS, political bodies, courts and even jails.
He along with his team served for 13 months in the earthquake that ravaged Bhuj-Kutch, Anjar provided services like shelter, physical rehabilitation, personal hygiene, medicine distribution, etc. About 1000 people benefitted from his services. This was acknowledged by our present Prime Minister Shri Narendra Modi when he was the Chief Minister of Gujarat.
Recently his Dream Project called Didwania (Ratanlal) Avedna Kendra – Hospice Centre, Sewadham where mentally ill dying and destitutes can breathe their last in peace under proper care, inaugurated by Smt. Sumitra Mahajan, Speaker Lok Sabha and he gave up fasting of 12 years he took for uplift of dying destitute section of the society.
Sudhir Bhai’s humanitarian work has been admired and acclaimed by many renowned National Internationally personalities like Baba Amte, Mother Teresa, and Ex- Presidents, Prime Ministers, Shri Suresh Bhaiyyaji Joshi, Smt. Sumitra Mahajan – Speaker Loksabha and Cabinet Ministers of India. He received numerous awards like Vayoshreshta, Godfrey Philips and Maharshi Dadhichi Award.
Under leadership of Sudhir Bhai Goyal Sewadham Ashram has a Vision 2017 which aims towards providing shelter & rehabilitation, food, medical aid, education to special children, health & hygiene cloths, proper care and maintenance with love, care and compassion to 1000 unfortunate souls who are living non existing life and abandoned, neglected by our society.
Sudhir Bhai stays with his family within the ashram premises dedicated and devoted to providing the best of services to inmates and he sees God in their smiling faces.
His aim is to make necessary arrangement for imparting education to differently abled kids, women empowerment and make them self reliant to enable them to lead the life with dignity and self respect with the main stream of society.